One thing nobody told me about, and I didn't expect, is extreme discomfort ten months after my breast surgery. The muscles on my left side, across the front of my shoulder, under my arm and down the inside of my arm are so tight it's painful. It doesn't help that I haven't been very diligent about doing my exercises. My range of motion on that side is pathetic. If I had to bring my arm straight up over my head, the pain would bring me to my knees. My left side was dealt a triple whammy with the mastectomy, radiation and having the tissue expander in for almost a year. Flexibility just isn't happening.
The worst part is the feeling I get when I try to massage that area or stretch those muscles. I can't even describe it... it's like the pain is so sharp that it turns my stomach. When I'm laying on the floor stretching my arm over my head, I feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin to get away from the awful feeling. It's a vicious cycle - I need to do the stretches to loosen up the muscles, but it hurts really bad so I don't do them, and I end up even tighter.
No pain, no gain, right?